Things you would change?
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December 8th, 2008, 09:49
Not a bad list; I'll sign on to most of your points.
Some differences of opinion, though: I wasn't bothered by the lack of variety in weapons, since the variety in combat styles, potions, oils, bombs, and signs made up for it. More weapons (which would have had to be swords) wouldn't really have added much variety to the game; they'd just have made for a different look. And I never was a huge fan of cutscenes. I very much agree about the silly nighties, and not only in the scene you mentioned. Lucky there's a mod out there to address this very problem (by getting rid of said nighties altogether).
But I agree with you about the other points, more or less, although I wasn't quite as bothered about the auto-sheathe behavior as you were.
Sooo, things I would change:
* Make it harder. I played it on "Hard," and it was pretty easy really. "Hard" should have been "Normal," and there should have been a mode above "Hard."
* More alternative approaches to quests. Most of the quests were pretty straightforward, with the interesting parts in those famous "story decisions" that would have repercussions later. However, this is no reason not to have good ol' traditional Fallout-style variety -- as in, "bash the door in and fight your way through/steal a key and sneak in/talk to someone to let you in" and so on. There was some of this, for sure, but there was scope for a lot more, and it would have made for better replayability.
* A more coherent Chapter 2. There was just too damn much going on there at once, and doing it in the "wrong" order led to some pretty bizarre situations, with either Geralt being shocked to discover things he'd already discovered way earlier, or talking with authority about stuff he didn't know yet. This was confusing; I lost the thread of the story entirely on my first play-through, and only figured it out properly on play-throughs 2 and 3.
* Better camera control. I did tame it reasonably quickly, but the initial impression is of wild gyrations, and in especially dialog cutscenes the camera is occasionally all over the place.
* Better development on some of the sidequests. The House of the Night one, for example, felt like an embryo of a story, but it ended up having very limited consequences. It established some very interesting characters, and it's a shame they had no role to play further down the line.
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